Coral Ardisia, in some communities, is recognized as “Public Enemy #1”. Its rampant growth throughout our natural communities quickly displaces natural plant communities. First introduced as an ornamental plant, due to its showy red fruit, Coral Ardisia quickly spread throughout the communities. This prolific seeding plant spreads very aggressively and earned a “prohibited” status from the state. You can recognize Coral Ardisia from its bright red berries and evergreen leaves with scalloped margins. Therefore, to control Coral Ardisia, collect the berries in buckets and dispose of them in your trash – do not compost the berries.
Never dig up, plant, or transplant Coral Ardisia within the landscape. It should never be removed, unless berries have been removed first or before the plant develops fruits.
Continual efforts are required to reduce the spread of Coral Ardisia, but due to the prolific fruiting/seeding of the plant, 100% physical control is very difficult to achieve. If in a homeowner’s landscape, reestablishing other groundcovers in open spaces can limit the germination of seeds within the soil. A few good alternatives include American Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americanus), Rouge Plant (Rivinia humilis), or Beauty Berry (Callicarpa americana).
Complete mechanical control measures through different stages. For small groups, hand-removal of the infestation is possible. First, hand-remove or harvest seeds into buckets before attempting to mechanically remove the plant – this helps prevent the unintentional spread of the seeds. After the removal and collection of seeds, you can pull the plants. Large areas may be disced or burned, but landscape managers need to be careful because this invasive commonly establishes itself in wooded areas, which can make control difficult.
There are no known biological controls.
Chemical control methods are effective for this invasive plant. 10% Garlon 4 applications as a basal bark or a foliar spray with 3% Garlon 4 and 1% Plateau helps control large infestations.
The showy, yet highly-invasive plant spreads aggressively across the landscape. Therefore, if you or someone you know is having issues managing this invasive or any other invasive plants within your landscapes, reach out to your county extension office for more information. The invasion of the landscape snatchers has begun, but we can stop it!
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